The Spanish Summer course took place as usual in the village of Hinojedo just outside Suances, Cantabria, in Northern Spain on 16th – 18th August 2012.
This was a special year for Wado Kokusai Spain as it was 30 years since the first Spanish summer course and, as a result, a number of additional activities were organised that people could participate in, such as walking in los Picos de Europa (including a trip up the cable car at Fuente Dé), canoeing down the Rio Deva and caving in local village of Bolsa.
The course was well attended by karate-ka from all over Europe and even further afield. The 9 countries represented at the course were Spain, Portugal, Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium, England, Norway, Finland and Peru.
There were 4 training sessions over the 3 days in the local sports hall.
Each class started with a vigorous warm-up led by a senior Sensei from one of the countries represented at the summer course. Following on from the warm up, all the students were put through tai sabaki movements (the heart of Wado Ryu) followed by kihon – the foundation that leads on to kata and kumite.
During the longer training sessions, sensei Wicks instructed the students in three new ren raku wazas (combinations), the combinations were:
Uraken Chudan – Uraken Jodan – Gyakazuki Chudan – Surikomi Ashi Bari – Ushirogeri Chudan - Uraken Jodan – Gyakazuki Chudan
Renzuki Jodan – Renzuki Chudan – Nagashazuki Jodan – Mawatte Uraken Jodan – Gyakazuki Chudan –Surikomi Mawashigeri Chudan – Inside sweep - Gyakazuki
Step Nagashazuki Jodan – Gyakazuki Chudan –Surikomi Maegeri – Maegeri Uke – Gyakazuki Chudan – Hiza Chudan – Empi Jodan
We found out that these will be the new Dan grading combinations come 2014 when the Dan grading syllabus is updated. Fellow karate-ka, you have been warned!
The remaining training time was spent on partner work: Jodan Uke, Maegeri Uke, Ohyo Gumite and Kihon Gumite with sensei Wicks correcting all students to remove their bad habits.
Towards the end of the Saturday lesson, whilst the students taking their gradings practiced with their partners, sensei Massee did a special session on Jujitsu locks and take-downs. This was a very good session as the students got to really understand the Jujitsu component of Wado Ryu.
Whilst training, we were honoured with a delegation from the local mayoral office, who came and told us about how pleased they were for us to be here and hope that we enjoyed our time in Suances, Cantabria. This was reciprocated with Sensei Massee thanking the mayoral delegation for allowing Wado Kokusai to train in the hall.
The Dan grading took place on Saturday afternoon and was presided over by Sensei’s Wicks and Massee. Everybody passed their Dan grading but sensei Wicks highlighted the importance of knowing the theory as well as the practical. Each Karate-ka should know why Wado Ryu is different from other styles and the importance of Suzuki Sensei forming the Wado International Karate-Do Federation.
On the final evening of the summer course, a special event had been organised. This consisted of wine tasting of local wines including two Ribera del Dueros. This was accompanied by a selection of fine cheeses: Manchego and Tresviso (local to los Picos de Europa) and meats: Salchichon and Chorizo. This was then followed by a wonderful 4 course dinner that including seafood Paella.
After the meal, people gathered in to groups to chat until the small hours of the morning but we made sure we kept the noise down as the delegation from the Netherlands were sleeping just above and were leaving at 5am to drive back home the following morning!
Until we meet next time – Shinkenmi ni Tesseyo
Please see http://www.facebook.com/fab2photography for more photographs of this event.